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Vitiligo Guide: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Vitiligo is a skin condition in which white patches on the skin appear. Any body part can be affected, and most vitiligo sufferers have several white spots on their skin. Worldwide, vitiligo affects millions of people. Anyone can be affected, regardless of age, gender, or colour. Vitiligo can affect a person’s mental and emotional health, even if it is not a contagious or life-threatening disorder. 

In this article, the best skin doctor in Ludhiana, Dr. Shikha Aggarwal, has offered helpful information to offer vitiligo patients professional insight. She has mentioned vitiligo treatments and numerous other vitiligo-related topics.

Owing to the advancements in medical technology, some promising treatments are now within reach for managing vitiligo.

What are the Vitiligo Symptoms?

Numerous signs of vitiligo include:

  • Skin that has white spots on it
  • Premature whitening or greying of the eyelashes, eyebrows, or facial hair
  • Loss of colour in the mucous membranes, especially the lips and nose’s inner lining

According to a survey, 75% of vitiligo patients suffer pigment loss on their hands and faces. The skin under the arms and surrounding the groin are two more common body folds.

However, depending on the type of vitiligo, the affected areas may change.  

Types of Vitiligo Include:

  • Universal Vitiligo- Most skin surfaces are impacted by this kind of vitiligo.
  • Vitiligo in Segments- A side of the body develops white blotches. Frequently, it lasts for about a year before stopping. Additionally, it develops more slowly than generalized vitiligo.
  • Widespread Vitiligo- Both sides of the body are symmetrically covered in large white spots. Anywhere in the body, pigment cells can exhibit this pattern, which is the most frequent. Throughout a person’s lifespan, it frequently starts and stops numerous times.
  • Spotty Vitiligo- Smaller patches usually only affect a few body parts.
  • Acrofacial Vitiligo– It appears on the face. This particular variety of vitiligo mainly impacts the hands, feet, and face.

Vitiligo Affected Areas

It frequently affects: 

  • Body folds (such as the armpits) 
  • Sites of previous injuries 
  • Areas exposed to sunlight
  • Bodily holes, around moles, and
  • Tissues membranes the inside of the mouth and nose

Vitiligo Diagnosis

The doctor can usually diagnose vitiligo by checking the patient’s skin during a physical exam. 

Patients might also have another testing, including blood tests and:

  • Skin biopsy, where a sample of the patient’s skin is sent to a laboratory for additional investigation
  • A Wood’s lamp test, where a doctor checks the patient’s skin under UV light

What makes one more Vulnerable to Vitiligo?

What specifically causes vitiligo is uncertain. Many vitiligo sufferers have no family history of the ailment, and it doesn’t seem to be inherited. However, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, having vitiligo or other autoimmune diseases in the family may make one more susceptible.

Vitiligo may be linked to a wide range of autoimmune conditions, such as:

  • Thyroiditis, which is brought on by an unbalanced thyroid, 
  • Lupus, 
  • Psoriasis, 
  • Alopecia areata, or baldness, 
  • Type 1 diabetes, 
  • Addison’s illness
  • Scleroderma, a condition affecting the body’s connective tissue, and rheumatoid arthritis

Additionally, some doctors claim that vitiligo appears following:

  • Serious wounds or sunburns
  • Exposure to chemicals and poisons
  • High-stress levels.

Vitiligo Treatment & Natural Remedies

Vitiligo treatments can improve the appearance of the damaged skin. Depending on the age, how much the skin has to be improved, and how much the vitiligo affects one, one treatment may be more effective for one than another.

  • Medications for Vitiligo

For the treatment of non-segmental vitiligo in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older, the FDA has approved the use of ru-xolitin-ib cream. When administered twice daily for six months to vitiligo areas covering up to 10% of the body surface area, it has demonstrated efficacy in repigmentation. 

Otherwise, the skin doctor can advise one to apply a corticosteroid lotion to the damaged skin to restore its colour. The skin might not alter for several months. The skin could also develop some wrinkles or streaks or get thinner.

The doctor could advise a corticosteroid pill or injection if the vitiligo develops quickly.

Note:  According to the experienced skin specialist, the patient should receive a comprehensive examination from a skilled dermatologist before taking any drugs. Each patient’s condition and degree of severity are different. A doctor is, therefore, qualified to suggest the best course of action.

Read: Five reasons why every patients needs teeth whitening

Common Treatments for Vitiligo 

Several treatments are available that can be helpful.

  • Phototherapy or Light Therapy: Vitiligo can be treated with UVA light therapy, often known as phototherapy, to slow or stop its progression. One will often combine this with whatever medications the doctor recommends. In a doctor’s office, one will often receive this therapy a few times per week. However, portable medical equipment lets one receive care at home. Consult the skin doctor about it.
  • Excimer laser: If medication does not work or yield the desired results, laser vitiligo treatments may be used. Laser-based therapies for vitiligo produce the expected results: effective results. In this technique, the skin’s colour is restored by depigmenting it using a laser. The wavelength of the excimer laser is 308 nm.

But when using an excimer, the light only reaches the skin that has vitiligo. Because it is so narrowly focused, the amounts of treatment may be stronger, which could result in quicker results. The drawback is that it could take some time if there are many vitiligo-affected places.

Natural Treatments for Vitiligo

One can do the following actions at home to improve the appearance of the skin:

  • Apply cosmetics or tanner to the damaged skin.
  • When one is outside, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 30) and reapply it every two hours.
  • Avoid using tanning beds.
  • Avoid getting tattoos. More vitiligo may result from the harm they cause to the skin.

To benefit from the best vitiligo treatment in Ludhiana, one can make an appointment with Dr. Shikha Aggarwal at Bliss Laser Skin Clinic. At the renowned dermatology clinic, one can also get treatments for other skin conditions like stretch marks, psoriasis, keloid, acne scars, skin pigmentation, anti-ageing, and many others. Make an appointment right away to learn more about the cost of vitiligo treatment!

Shikha Aggarwal

Dr. Shikha Aggarwal is a renowned name in the field of cosmetology, the best dermatologist in Ludhiana who is MBBS from GGS Medical College, Faridkot, and MD from DMC&H, Ludhiana. She has undergone advanced training in Medical Laser Aesthetics from Trivandrum & Bangalore. She has also participated in an online education program on dermatology from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, USA.

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